What's the best small pig breed for a small homestead?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by happydog, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. happydog

    happydog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Location:
    Western NC
    I used to raise minis and pot bellies years ago but they were expensive little suckers so we never got a chance to eat any. I want to buy some breeding stock next spring and have another go at it. For various reasons (mainly safety) I'd like to stick with small pigs again on my little farm.

    I really enjoyed raising pigs, but now I want to eat them too. (gee, that sounds so mean, sorry :p)

    What is the best small breed of pigs as far as eating quality?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Levonsa

    Levonsa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Henagar, AL
    You should look into the Guinea Hogs. They are great little guys, and they do get big enough to eat.
     

  3. postroad

    postroad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,957
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hochfeld Manitoba
    Berkshires are not concidered minis but they are somwhat smaller than many breeds.

    As with many heirloom breeds they tend to get a little lardy but the meat is concidered to be a premium product.

    My small herd including the boar seem to be a easygoing friendly bunch.
     
  4. Levonsa

    Levonsa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    Henagar, AL
    You can get more information on the Guinea Hogs here...

    http://www.albc-usa.org/cpl/guinea.html

    http://www.guineahogs.org/

    We bought ours earlier this year, and our first litter is 6 weeks old now. They are all doing great, and are tons of fun to watch. They graze with the horses, goats and sheep and clean up acorns every day.
     
  5. Gailann Schrader

    Gailann Schrader Green Woman

    Messages:
    1,955
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Indiana - North Central
  6. Bfly Farmer

    Bfly Farmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    I second the Guinea Hogs! We have 2 gilts and a boar which run with our goats and poultry. They are so easy to care for and cheap. Our particular line is getting fat off pasture and scraps alone. I am not quite sure how they are pulling it off, but it definitely saves me on the feed bill. We only give fthem minimal feed during the cold weather along with hay.
     
  7. chickenista

    chickenista Original recipe! Supporter

    Messages:
    14,037
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Location:
    NC foothills
    I vote for Tamworths.
    A nice sized pig, lean not too fat and very athletic and a great forager. Red so sunburn isn't a problem. Easy to breed and successful mothers.
     
  8. happydog

    happydog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Location:
    Western NC
    As usual, it's unanimous, lol. I probably should have said we'll be pasturing them so toughness and ability to forage is important. And I'd like to keep them with or near my cows, poultry, and whatever else we end up with to make it easier for the dogs to watch over everybody.

    We're in the NC mountains and it doesn't get hot here. So far I'm leaning towards the guineas. I'm wondering how hard it will be in the future to get a new boar if need be. Although I s'pose that would be the case with any unusual breed.

    Thanks for the replies and I'd love to hear more. I'm curious how the guineas and pbs compare meat wise? I see the guineas are "fatty" though I'm guessing that's not a bad thing?
     
  9. Bfly Farmer

    Bfly Farmer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    As far as guineas go, you are located in a great place to find a pair if you are willing to travel a few hours. There are a variety of breeders in SC, NC, and Virginia. The tricky part arises if you wish to breed for sale of breeding stock. Then you want to get unrelated hogs which means you may need to travel further, but if you are only interested in feeder pigs, then closer related pigs are not such a big deal.